wears the trousers magazine

natalie merchant to tour in may
February 22, 2010, 1:21 pm
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Good news for a Monday. Natalie Merchant has announced her first full European tour in what could fairly be described as an awfully long time; it’s scheduled for May and will see the legendary lady visit seven UK cities in support of her upcoming album Leave Your Sleep (now due April 12 through Nonesuch). Tickets are generally priced at £27.50 with some regional variation (*cough* London), and are on sale through livenation.co.uk and gigsinscotland.com.

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incoming: katell keineg
February 16, 2010, 10:29 am
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Katell Keineg
At The Mermaid Parade

[Honest Jon’s; March 29]

French/Welsh singer-songwriter Katell Keineg is perhaps best known for her longstanding friendship with Natalie Merchant, providing the memorable backing vocals on ‘Carnival’ and having her song ‘The Gulf Of Araby’ appear on Merchant’s own Live In New York, but her three albums and various EPs to date have received significant critical acclaim. So what can we expect from the upcoming At The Mermaid Parade, her first full-length release since 2004’s High July? Well, judging from these clips, more smart songwriting and a fine display of that unusually rich, treacly voice we love. Sorted.

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incoming: here lies love

David Byrne & Fatboy Slim
Here Lies Love

[Nonesuch; February 22]

This hugely anticipated double album from the perhaps unlikely pairing of David Byrne and Norman Cook features 20 top female vocalists (and Steve Earle) retelling the incredible life story of Imelda Marcos, former First Lady Of The Philippines, from her early days as a beauty queen in Manila to her marriage to Ferdinand Marcos and his controversial presidency, and finally to their catastrophic fall from grace in the face of the People Power Revolution of 1986. Says David Byrne in the introduction, “The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person—what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if—as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music—one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a ‘story’ and a kind of theatre to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn’t that be amazing!” (Byrne himself sings on only two tracks; ‘American Troglodyte’ and the Shara Worden duet ‘Seven Years’.) The deluxe edition of Here Lies Love includes a 100-page companion book and DVD. Unmissable, really.

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incoming: natalie merchant
January 25, 2010, 10:25 am
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Natalie Merchant
Leave Your Sleep

[Nonesuch, April 6]

Natalie Merchant’s first studio album in eight years is by far her most ambitious project to date. Having spent over five years researching poems by or for children, or simply about the childhood experience, Natalie set about composing melodies and music to fit them to, recording around 50 songs over the course of a year with a huge array of collaborators. Among the 130 musicians who contributed to the album are The Ditty Bops and Katell Keineg, jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, Grammy-winning klezmer band The Klezmatics, the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, blues and roots band Hazmat Modine, traditional Irish folk band Lúnasa and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. A whopping 26 tracks made the final cut, originating from poets as obscure as Nathalia Crane and Laurence Alma-Tadema to perennial favourites like Edward Lear, Christina Rossetti and e.e. cummings.

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30 albums you need to hear this spring (III)

part one | part two

January is a month for looking forward as well as back. So while we are in the process of revealing our top 100 albums of the 2000s, this week we’ll also be taking a look at the 30 albums we are most excited about this Spring, in release date order. The new decade is getting off to a solid start as some familiar faces return and new ones jostle for recognition.

In this third and final part, we look at new releases from Ellie Goulding, The Knife, Laura Marling, Natalie Merchant, Emma Pollock, White Hinterland, Lou Rhodes, Goldfrapp, Dum Dum Girls and The Living Sisters, which brings us up to the end of March.

With April releases on the cards from Peggy Sue, She & Him and Sally Seltmann (formerly New Buffalo), there’s plenty more to look forward to then.

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natalie merchant adds more UK shows
October 26, 2009, 4:23 pm
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210909_nataliemerchantFirst headline show in over 7 years announced for November

In addition to her upcoming appearance at the opening gala of this year’s London Jazz Festival on November 13th, Natalie Merchant will play her first headline performance in the UK in a very long time at Conway Hall in Holborn, London. The November 16th event, dubbed ‘An Evening With Natalie Merchant’, will showcase some of the songs from Natalie’s forthcoming album – her first for Nonesuch Records – as well as selections from her 28-year musical career. Tickets are priced at £25 plus booking fee and are on sale now through LiveNation.co.uk. If you can’t make that show, then clear your schedule in plenty of time for next year’s Celtic Connections festival as Natalie will appear at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with Irish band Lúnasa on January 28th as part of the impressive lineup, which also includes Laura Veirs, The Swell Season, Angelique Kidjo, Nell Bryden and more.

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natalie merchant announces rare UK gig
September 21, 2009, 7:31 pm
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210909_nataliemerchantShe’ll appear at 2009 London Jazz Festival

Six years on from her last studio album, The House Carpenter’s Daughter, and goodness knows how many since she last played to her loyal English fans on home turf, Natalie Merchant has announced that she will be taking part in this year’s opening gala of the London Jazz Festival, an event that never fails to be anything other than spectacular. Last year’s star-studded show featured the likes of Melody Gardot, Courtney Pine and Carleen Anderson in a celebration of the 75th birthdays of Nina Simone and Quincy Jones. The intention this year is to mark the 50th anniversary of the classic jazz records of 1959, as well as to explore “a century of song”, with echoes of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer.

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